I'd like to find simple storage engines or low-level databases, embeddable in Java. I.e. libraries.

They only have to be able to store bytes, really. Keys could be simply integers.

No querying required. I am investigating the idea of dealing with persistence or even implementing databases on top of such a simple foundation.

Of course, fast, lean, simple are good qualities.

(Wasn't able to use (create) additional tags: low-level, storage)

  • Java on what OS?
    – rrirower
    Feb 6, 2015 at 16:51
  • @rrirower I am thinking pure JVM code, so OS shouldn't matter too much. Of course, there may be small differences in things like memory-mapping.
    – Jonas N
    Feb 6, 2015 at 16:56

2 Answers 2


If you want a pure Java lib you can look on HeftyDB. If you are ok with native lib and Java wrappers there are many options:


H2 Database, MVStore

The pure-Java relational database engine, H2 Database, has an explicit key-value store called MVStore.

Each store contains a number of maps that can be accessed using the java.util.Map interface.

Both file-based persistence and in-memory operation are supported.

It is intended to be fast, simple to use, and small.

Concurrent read and write operations are supported.

Transactions are supported (including concurrent transactions and 2-phase commit).

Can even be used directly, without using JDBC or SQL.

Example code:

// open the store
MVStore s = MVStore.open( fileName );

// create/get the map named "data"
MVMap<Integer, String> map = s.openMap( "data" );

// add and read some data
map.put( 1, "Hello World" );
System.out.println( map.get(1) );

// close the store (this will persist changes)
  • Checked it out a little. Log-structured storage, I like that. Can store Java arrays, so my requirement is met. Seems a little higher-level than I was aiming for, though; it can store many more data types. Cool feature: 'The MVRTreeMap is an R-tree implementation that supports fast spatial queries.'
    – Jonas N
    Jul 27, 2017 at 20:46

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